Schooling abroad is a dream come true for many students, especially those from third world nations where the quality of education is miniscule at best. The opportunity to leave for a chance at better education can however sometimes be hampered by the cost of that education. Many talented students have been denied a chance to explore their abilities due to an inability to fulfill the financial requirements for the course of study. It is for this reason that international student loans are created. International student loans grant an opportunity for indigent students to access loans that will enable them to complete their course of study at colleges and universities in the United States.
Who is eligible?
Not every international student is eligible for student loans in the US, however the criteria are not so stringent. The student must be attending an eligible US college or university and when applying must have a creditworthy cosigner who is a US citizen or a non-citizen with permanent residency status. The student may also be a non-citizen with permanent residency status or in some rare cases a US citizen who is studying abroad. Non-citizens applying for international student loans to study outside the US will not be eligible.
What loans are available?
Different kinds of loans are available for international students and range from simple tuition based loans which the students can use to pay off their tuition fees and management (including insurance, books, transportation, accommodation, feeding etc.) all the way to loans that can help the student to save money, build credit and eventually pay off. The amount that can be included in the loan usually depends on the school’s financial aid office.
How to apply
Applying for an international student loan is as simple as opening a web browser and doing a quick search. Loan application comparison tools exist online that could help match a student with an appropriate lender. However, not seeing your school on the list from a particular loan application tool should not deter a student, it may be that the tool does not have any loan arrangement with the school. Contacting the school to determine their loan programs for international students is usually a great bet.
Students applying for international student loans in the US need to have a valid international passport with a visa. Visa application can sometimes be approved by showing proof of a loan application, but this depends on the consular officer in charge and is rare besides. On most occasions, the student has to present a valid student visa to be considered eligible to finalize the loan. The loan company/lending bank must also give credit approval to the student and the cosigner, after which the college or university must certify the amount of the loan before the proceeds are given to the student.
International student loans are a major lifesaver for foreign students intent on studying in the US. One of the major benefits they present are they do not have a time limit. You can always apply for another loan in each academic term.